Reported Barriers to Surgical Care in Trujillo, Peru
Reported Barriers to Surgical Care in Trujillo, Peru 2014
C. Gordhan , M. Lopreiato , and Z. Sifri
Department of Surgery, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103 International Surgical Health Initiative
The lack of surgical care in low to middle
income nations leads to significant burden of
disease, decreased quality of life, and
significant years of life loss. According to
WHOs Global Burden of Disease study, 11%
of diseases can be surgically treated1. Peru has
a population of 29,988,000 and is considered
an upper-middle income developing nation.
Despite its economic status, Peru demonstrates
a significant lack of health care2,3.
During a 1 week humanitarian surgical mission
trip to Trujillo, Peru, the International Surgical
Health Initiative (ISHI), assessed the barriers
to surgical health care specific to its patients.
The mission team assessed and performed
surgeries at a partnering local clinic, Clinica
Madre de Cristo, (Figure 1) located in an
severely underserved neighborhood of Trujillo.
The International Surgical Health Initiative
(ISHI) is a humanitarian, non-profit
organization that is dedicated to providing free
surgical care to underserved communities
around the world. ISHI was founded by two
attendings at University Hospital in order to
address the need for international surgical
health care. Teams are made up of surgeons,
anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, and
logistics. The organization has sent teams to
Haiti, Guatemala, the Philippines, Sierra
Leone, Ghana, and Peru. More information can
be found at ishigobal.org
Patients who were selected and consented
for surgery were asked to participate in a
voluntary convenience survey. The survey
was conducted by a translator who was
briefed and fully understood the research
objectives (Figure 2). The survey asked
questions related to the type and duration
of their condition and why previous
attempts to receive surgical care were
unsuccessful. Surveys were recorded by
hand and transferred to JMP for further
Demographics of patients surveyed
Male/Female (%) 46/54
Mean age (SD)
Mean duration of 6.7 (84%>1 year)
Figure 1. Clinica Madre de Cristo
Surgical cost followed by local
geopolitical issues are major
Hernias followed by biliary
diseases were the most common
Burden of disease is significant;
lasting years for many patients
(84% >1 year)
Figure 2. Translater conducting survery
Samad L., et al. (2013). Barriers to accessing surgical
care: A cross-sectional survey conducted at a tertiary
care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. World Journal of
Surgery, 37, 2313-2321.
The World Bank. (2014). Peru. Retrieved at:
The World Health Organization. (2012). Peru: health
profile. Retrieved: at
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